Relentless design and croissant distribution

I was challenged, again, by my friend Adnane Addioui to publish designs on scaling social impact with viable business models. Thus I picked the first problem at sight, feeding the hungry.

I noticed that at the end of each day, a bakery would have some croissants that were not sold at the end of the business day. Thus, as a result, the bakery throws away these leftover croissants instead of storing them in the fridge, and reheat them in the morning.

For the bakery, croissants have a predictable shipping size, are lightweight, not really fragile, and they do not spoil or get rotten quickly. Given some of the croissant's "qualities", a croissant that has been left overnight can be said to have a fine balance of being a "viable commodity" and having a "competitive cost."

A simple and straightforward plan to exploit these dynamics of the "overnight" croissant would be:

  1. Identify the hungry people in need.
  2. Size and Collect donations to buy croissants
  3. Audit and Acquire the leftover croissants at symbolic pricing.
  4. Distribute the leftover croissants to the hungry people in need.

Admittedly, this proposed approach has some serious illusive assumptions:

  • Are the hungry people in need, in need of bakery?
  • Why do we even have leftovers if the market is balanced, healthy?

As problem-solving is a process of reasoning, problem-solving at scale may require “reasoning with other people’s minds in mind”. To achieve this I’ll use reverse retrospection.

Distribute: if every bakery can make high-quality goods, at an affordable price. Thus, the distribution can be frugal. Each person using the closest bakery nearby to donate a loaf of bread.

Audit and Acquire: the above can be possible if every bakery can be trained to use best practices, and also certified to guarantee the quality of their work.

Size and Collect: the above can be possible if we can transform the expertise of master bakers into lectures, guidelines, routines, exercises, and examinations.

Identify: the tools needed, the media formats, and practices that can be used to leverage such a skill transfer.

Croissant Distribution Ali Elouafiq
Croissant distribution. | Ali ELouafiq

I’m not sure if a bakery is a priority for society, and I’m not sure either if Marie Antoinette did really say "Let them eat cake" (“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”). I am, however sure that experiencing food uplifts the mind.

The croissant distribution is the process of distributing value, through the “augmentation of human abilities” as a way to transfer value-capture, at scale.

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